How Much Do We Know About Our Feet?
by Emma Ware
Let’s start with the obvious, they take us where we want to go! We get out of bed in the morning and the first thing we do is stand on them. Whether they are long and narrow, or short and wide, they carry our bodies, and without us even giving them much of a thought, they just do their job. But what else do we know about them?
Let’s see what the experts have to say.
The following is from the desk of Eric Metcalf, MPH: it was medically reviewed by Dr. Lindsey Marcellin, MPH and Chicago area podiatrist, Dr. Paul Brezinski, DPM.
Collectively, they tell us that together our two feet contain more than 50 bones accounting for about 1/4 of all the bones in the body. Somehow, they also make room for more than 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold them together and help them move.
Simply walking around on an average day pounds them with hundreds of tons of force, bringing to our attention just how important our feet are and the amazing job they do for us every day.
Without proper care, your feet can develop certain health problems because they’re the farthest body parts from your heart.
Your heart pumps blood to your feet through arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood. Dr. Brezinski adds that several medical conditions, including peripheral arterial disease, can reduce that blood flow. This disease is caused by a buildup of plaque within the arteries that reduce the oxygen rich blood flow to your feet and lower legs, severely threatening their health.
This reduced blood flow can also cause pain and swelling. When our feet hurt, we are less likely to exercise or even enjoy leisurely walking.
So how can we prevent and avoid such conditions? By eating healthy and avoiding chemical additives found in packaged food to promote their shelf life. By watching our sugar intake, an excess of which can contribute to diabetes or other unhealthy results like obesity or even heart disease.
Pampering our feet is not a luxury but a necessity, and can be done at home with simple ingredients we already have in our pantry. Some homemade recipes can also detox our feet, reducing stress and balancing the body’s pH level.
If you have baking soda, vinegar, or Epsom salt in the pantry, you have the makings of a luxurious soaking solution. Adding essential oils to the mix will result in rewarding both our feet and our attitudes at the end of a long day.
Here are some simple recipes for your soaking bath:
Relaxing Foot Soak
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 2 cups baking soda
- 15 drops essential oil of choice
Stir until the salt mixture is well combined. Store the additional in an airtight container of your choice for future use.
For your luxury soak simply mix 1/4 cup of your mixture into your soaking vessel with enough comfortably hot water to cover your feet to above your ankles. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to receive the full benefit from your soak, so relax and let it do the work for you.
For full benefits, the oils recommended are pure, not synthetic.
Lavender: soothes painful feet and reduces stress
Peppermint: natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory
Tea Tree: best for fighting fungus and athletes foot
Rosemary: antiseptic and helpful for rheumatoid foot pain
Eucalyptus: best known for anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
Detoxifying Foot Soak
- 2 gallons warm water
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1/3 cup bentonite clay
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Essential oil of choice (wintergreen blend, peppermint or lavender)
Soak 20-30 minutes and after soaking, gently scrub your feet with a pumice stone to remove dry skin buildup or calluses.
I hope this information will encourage you to add this relaxing treatment to your health routine. Let me know when you do and we can share your results.
I have remained open to serve your health needs during these months of day-by-day challenges. I would love for you to stop by the office and let me know how you are managing. We are seeing clients by appointment but open for your product needs at 2798-D Howard Avenue in the Market Common. Call the office at (843) 997-7037 to schedule an appointment.
Emma’s School of Healthy Eating